Student Safety at Risk Once Again

There are many issues at stake in this year’s school budget. For the sake of time, I want to bring one, in particular, to the forefront. That is the slated cuts of both the a.m. preschool bus routes and the a.m. and p.m. alternative school bus routes. I will attempt to provide more informatin in the coming days, but for now, please read below:

I want to make you aware of an issue that should concern you, especially if you have children who attend or will soon attend the OR High School. As you may recall, the alternative school was moved on to the main campus last year. One of the security measures put into place to prevent the co-mingling of those students with the general population was that of required bussing of alternative school students. That service is now slated as a budgetary cut that appears destined to pass in the school budget for FY10. In spite of a number of citizens voicing their concerns over this issue, the school board has rejected proposals (by abstaining from comment or action) to retain this service. This became abundantly clear tonight after a full week of discussion on the matter.

Please read my email below to understand more fully what is at stake. I have received no response from Mr. Green or the school board to date indicating that these concerns will be addressed prior to the finalization of the budget. If you share my concerns, feel free to forward this to anyone you would like. Time is of the essence as the final approval of the FY10 budget is scheduled for Monday at 5:30.

Most importantly, if you share these concerns, please voice your concerns to the Oak Ridge School Board. Their contact information can be found here:

http://www.ortn.edu/default.cfm?TargetSchoolMenuID=158&FromLevel=2

Thank you,

Trina Baughn

——————————————————————————–

From: Trina Baughn
Sent: Wednesday, April 15, 2009 11:55 AM
To: Smith, John W. Jr.; Dr. Bailey; ccarringer@ortn.edu; Mr. DiGrigorio; Mr. Fillauer; Mr. Green; Ms. Agle; Ms. Gagliano; Ms. Richter
Subject: Alternative School Safety

Mr. Green/Mr. Carringer,

As you know, the move of the alternative school to the main campus was a highly controversial one. At the time, as a parent of a high school student, I felt confident in the school’s ability to maintain a very strict divide between the alternative school students and the general high school population. Last night’s discussion, however, has given me cause for concern. I need not remind you or anyone else that there are students in that program who are in there for infractions directly related to violence.

Can you please elaborate on exactly how you will ensure that alternative school students will not co-mingle with the rest of the high school population before and after school if their transportation is cut? I fail to understand how a student can be prevented from accessing most areas of school grounds if they have the freedom to arrive and depart of their own means, especially since we have an open campus with no exterior security features or security guards. Given the state of our society, recent events in other systems, and the increasing trend of violence in schools, I feel that the issue warrants much greater scrutiny BEFORE a decision is made to cut this service.

Regards,

Trina Baughn

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